A Policy Change
The Vietnam War had been festering for several decades before it abruptly ended. A few months prior the official withdrawal, American officials appeared determined in their desire to stop the rise of communism in Indochina. But they evacuated from Vietnam before winning the war. Why did this happen? Few people have an answer. In recent book (Forced Out of Vietnam), I explore the cause (or the possible causes) that provoked this sudden policy change.
The year 1975 was decisive for a victory in the conflict. It is also worthy of note that between 1969 and 1973, the United States had slowly, but steadily, lessened its military presence in the region. During that time, the number of military personnel [on Vietnamese territory of course] dropped sharply.
During the noted period, American military presence in Indochina went from roughly 543,000 to only 50 active members, mostly throughout the Vietnamese region itself. It was conceivable that North Vietnamese forces would take control of the entire region as soon as they could galvanize the military means to do so, which they eventually did in the spring of 1975.
The pervading belief is the American government ran out of money. Washington could no longer provide financial supports to the South Vietnamese regime. I admit it; this argument has merits. But in the text (see A Policy Analysis of the Fall of Saigon), I do not rely solely on this understanding to make my case.
No doubt, Congress rejected a demand for military funding to South Vietnam. Based on that understanding, one could argue there was a money problem towards the end of the conflict. I would also say there was more to the issues than a mere funding disagreement between the legislature and the executive branches of the American government.
The next logical question is why Congress refused to approve the military funding at this critical juncture in the war. To this day, answers are unclear. Nevertheless, most observers have come up with various explanations, theories, speculations, and hunches on what happened in Washington. The problem is that many inquirers have approached the topic from a narrow perspective.
A Narrow Perspective
Some inquirers have approached the war from a military angle. Others have approached the conflict from a political lens. A few inquirers have also sought to discover the reason American Legislators refused to support the executive branch in its search to provide aids to the South Vietnamese regime. I looked at the issues from a different angle.
To this day, the nature of the Vietnam War still evades most observers. There is a great mystery about the conduct of the war. The issues are even murkier when it comes to the last decision, which, later, ended the war. Of course, I do dole out what happened in-depth in the book. But I outline a few events, which could explain what happened in Washington during the last months, weeks, days, and even hours of the conflict.
I tried, without fail of course, to examine the nature of the decision that ended the war at length. I relied on a framework designed by Allison T. Graham during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Check out the book to learn more.
 Olson, Historical Dictionary of the 1960s, 466.
 Olson, Historical Dictionary of the 1960s.